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What does Scrum mean?

Janina Megens, 21 december 2022

“What does Scrum stand for?” my colleague asked me the other day.  She believed ‘Scrum’ to be an acronym of some kind and I explained to her that it was a term borrowed from rugby. A term that is chosen because it implies teamwork.

Driving back home on the highway, we all know that moment when your mind wanders off and I started thinking –
What if Scrum was indeed an acronym? Which values would be locked into those letters? As my personal expertise is project management, I started brainstorming about the Scrum Master role. In particular I thought about – What does a Scrum master need to bring to the table to be a good Scrum master?

I thought it would be a fun little exercise and started puzzling with the letters SCRUM in my head for this role and came to the following competencies:

S – Solution oriented / Supporting – During a sprint or project you will face many impediments where the team will need support from you. You need to be creative in finding solutions, whether that be to adding knowledge in the team or changing structures / tooling.

C- Communicative / Caring – While working towards a (Sprint) Goal, I believe it is very important to not lose track of the people in the team. You need to be able to communicate on different levels in the organization and understand questions, but also read between the lines.

R- Responsible / Responsive – As a Scrum Master you and the team are responsible for delivering specified goals. In my opinion it is very important to be on top of things to solve obstacles ad not to derail from the critical path.

U- Understanding context and organization – In order to come up with solutions it is very important to understand the field that you are playing. Do stakeholder analysis and have a good understanding of the direction that the organization is going.

M- Methodological – After all, Scrum is a framework. It has set rules / guidelines / events and although practice can be very different than theory, the aim should be to keep as close to the methodology as this is based on best practices.

I would be very eager to hear from our readers, which qualities would you value in a Scrum Master? Please let me know by responding to this blog.
Then maybe, just maybe, in the future, I can respond to my colleague saying – ‘Yes, Scrum stands for ..”
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Janina Megens

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